Senate moves on small-business bill

The Senate moved forward on a small-business tax credit bill on Tuesday.

In a vote of 80 to 14, the Senate voted to end debate on the motion to proceed to the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237). Twenty-nine Republicans joined Democrats in voting to move the legislation forward. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined 13 Republicans in voting against advancing the bill.

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The legislation offers a 10 percent tax credit for companies whose payroll salaries increased in 2012 compared to 2011. The bill's maximum amount for that credit is $5 million. It also includes deductions for companies that buy new major equipment.

Ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the bill was the 19th time Democrats had cut taxes for small businesses since President Obama took office.

"The Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act would put money back in the coffers of true job creators," Reid said.

The small-business bill is part of a coordinated Democratic effort to box Republicans on tax reform.

A day earlier, Obama called for an extension of the so-called Bush tax cuts for earners making up to $250,000 a year. And earlier on Tuesday the White House issued a statement expressing strong support for the small-business bill. Later in June, Democrats plan to vote on legislation extending the Bush tax cuts for the income groups Obama wants. They also plan on putting forward legislation removing tax breaks for companies that move business operations to other countries.

"By providing targeted tax relief to the businesses that are expanding their workforce and making new investments in capital, S. 2237 will help spur economic growth and job creation and strengthen the recovery," the statement read.

The statement also seemed to ding Republicans for wanting to extend all the Bush tax cuts, including for earners making more than $250,000 a year.

"Congress should act now to help American small businesses hire and grow with targeted tax relief designed to boost jobs, rather than enacting additional costly tax cuts for the most fortunate," the statement continued. 

—This story was updated at 3:55 p.m.